Billboard Underground: Jason Webley
Songwriter Jason Webley has made some pretty unique friends in pretty unique places during his 10-year career.Songwriter Jason Webley has made some pretty unique friends in pretty unique places during his 10-year career.
He was invited to tour in Mexico after a "superfan" dance choreographer created a ballet around his songs. He used that as an opportunity to meet Warner Latina pop star Ximena Sariñana, with whom he performed and penned some songs.
Then there were some Russian college students who paid for his trip—and seven subsequent others—to play shows in destinations like Siberia. Thousands of fans arrived at the shows knowing every word, despite the language barrier.
And don't forget the Monsters of Accordion tour, which took several wizards of the instrument up and down the West Coast this fall. "The most feared instrument in the world," Webley cheekily penned on the MOA press release.
This summer, Webley made a pair of visits to Australia, played support dates with the Avett Brothers and opened for Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer in Europe. He also completed a record with Palmer under the moniker Evelyn Evelyn, easily selling out of the 1,111-copy limited edition pressing of the vinyl set, released by his own Eleven Records.
"I have a dumb obsession with numbers, 11 being my favorite," he says with a laugh.
Playing to the fringe has worked in Webley's favor, enabling him to sell nearly 60,000 copies combined of his five full-length albums and a handful of collaborative efforts. Each offers a different sound, from circus to theater, from Balkan to Latin, crooner to punk. "Every one is going to be insanely different," he says. "It's very natural for me to jump around."